Home noun

1. the place where one lives permanently, esp. as a member of a family or household. “I was nineteen when I left home and went to college” synonyms: residence, place of residence, house, apartment, flat, bungalow,cottage





What makes home feel like home to you?

For me, home is wherever I sleep at night.
At least that is what it’s become over the past year.

Home was a hostel, a squeaky bed in a dorm room, a mat on a floor or someone’s couch.

But, with much reflection upon arriving back in Canada, my view on the word “home” became different. I can remember staying in places where we weren’t treated nicely by the other people there. In those instances we would say something like, “Let’s go back to the hostel.” or “I’m going to the house.” On the contrary, if we stayed in a place where we were welcomed, accepted and loved we would say, “Let’s go home.” or “I’m glad to be home.”. My subconscience figured it out before I did. Home is where there are people who care, where you can relax, be yourself and close your eyes at night without a doubt that you are loved.

Home is where the heart is.
With that being said, I’m happy to be home.

My arrival in Canada came with a jolt… I don’t just mean the bouncy airplane landing or the luggage hassle afterward, I mean the COLD air that froze my lungs and turned my South African tan into a wind-whipped red and my uncovered appendages blue. The warm welcoming from my best friend was heart warming (haha) and distracted me from the frigid temperatures.

It has been hectic since that day. But before life in Canada went into full-swing, I made sure to give myself one day of reflection upon my last year spent travelling the world. I tried to come up with an answer to that notorious question,

“So, how was your trip?”

Had it been a week long vacation, the answer would be no problem.
Try summing up an entire year.
Just try it.

Struggles, near-death circumstances, tireless amounts of work, drama, life-changing experiences. Eleven different countries and cultures. Thousands of people. Hundreds of projects. Planes, trains, automobiles, bicycles, tuc-tucs, sungtaos, boats and scooters. Sleepless nights, foreign food, bucket showers, hand-washing laundry, parasites, thieves, bed bugs and public transport. We taught seminars at universities, we swung on vines in the amazon jungle, we rode elephants, we played soccer in muddy fields with naked children (that sounds bad), we survived riots, we made movies, we lived in the red light district, we went in places no one else dared to go.

So, how do I sum up this year? What do I say to people who see me in passing for the first time this year?

They ask me,
“So, how was your trip?”

I reply,
“It was good, thanks for asking.”

What can I really say?

Unless that individual is interested enough to sit down over a cup of coffee and listen for an hour, this seems like an adequate response. Maybe those who really care have been the ones following my blog and asking questions all along.

For those who have been, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your prayers and support has been keeping me strong this past year.

Now I am in Canada, sleeping in my parents attic and working, working, working. I have an exciting new job taking Santa Photos at the White Oaks Mall in London. I also work at Park View Retirement Home on my ‘off’ days.
It is exciting to share stories and personal growth experiences with people at home, most of which aren’t even posted on this blog. I will make time to those who want to hear it. I also want to hear about your year, and what home means to you. I love you all.